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5 years ago  ::  Aug 15, 2009 - 6:26AM #1
UU_Nirvana
Posts: 14

I took a quit on selectsmart.com to tell me which pagan path is right for me and I got Thelema.


Can anyone tell me what Thelema is? How is it different from Wicca or other Pagan paths? What does it teach when it comes to ritual, magick and the gods? Can one practice it alone?


Thanx in advance for your help. :)

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5 years ago  ::  Aug 15, 2009 - 1:19PM #2
CreakyHedgewitch
Posts: 1,244

 


I've never considered Thelema to be Pagan or part of the Paganism Movement, given that (based on what I know) it draws so heavily upon Freemasonry and the latter has a foundation based on Christian mythology. The Occult Movement in Britain would be where I would place its origins.


The Religion of Wicca or rather Gerald Gardner did borrow from Ceremonial Magic and Freemasonry to create the ritualized 'magic' found within Wiccan rituals. So there are surface similarities and I have met a few Wiccans who practise and study CM intensively.


C.H.

No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.
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5 years ago  ::  Aug 16, 2009 - 11:23AM #3
CreakyHedgewitch
Posts: 1,244

 Hex,


Well I have tried to study Crowley's work in the past but for whatever reason, it always fails to resonate sufficiently with me to get beyond the surface or its indirect influences on modern Paganism.


I still remain unconvinced why anyone should include Thelema as part of Paganism though. The act of borrowing from other faiths etc can be evidenced for every belief system in existence to some degree and therefore doesn't make anything intrinsically Pagan. On the other hand, if that were how one defines something being Pagan, then it would make sense. Then again...if the -eisms that you mentioned also fit into Thelema, that might be another reason for such not being polytheistic Paganism.


It is entirely up to each individual to decide what describes them best. Never an issue for me.


I would be described as both a polytheist and an oligotheist. Oligotheism is the belief in (the validity of) many gods combined with the actual worship of a few.


Henotheism to me has always described the belief in (the existence of) many gods but specifically focused on the worship of a 'head' or ubergod. The description you quoted however does bother me somewhat. 'Existence of' or 'still appreciate' IMO means something other than believing other gods are valid. Isn't one really saying that one doesn't believe any other gods are valid (being all just 'my' ubergod after all...) and that those who use those other names, expressions, or manifestations are really worshipping the ubergod in question? Then there is 'not limit' clause that seems to hearken back to the underlying premise of monotheism that human beings can only worship one god at a time. So polytheism through the filter of such a phrase might then being considered a kind of serial monotheism, don't you think?


C.H.

No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.
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5 years ago  ::  Aug 16, 2009 - 7:00PM #4
UU_Nirvana
Posts: 14

Thank you all for your comments and thank you for the links. It sounds like I will have some studing to do.

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5 years ago  ::  Aug 17, 2009 - 8:04AM #5
CreakyHedgewitch
Posts: 1,244

Hex, I apologise if what I posted seemed to be about you personally or your beliefs.


It wasn't. I am very literal, typically responding when I choose to post to whatever specific language is posted. Language in all its subtle shades and meanings fascinates me and I will (also in person I must confess) dissect and analyse and ponder on the deeper layers of endless words that I read. Few of my friends these days will go to movies with me without fleeing afterwards either for that reason...Frown


I don't do so to criticise anyone or put down anyone's beliefs. Actually I tend to filter out the personal allegiances about the subject matter when I am ferreting out meanings. I'm simply fascinated by the words and the concepts below and behind them.


I'm fine to leave this discussion to others, if you prefer.


C.H.



 



No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.
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5 years ago  ::  Sep 01, 2009 - 1:13PM #6
EyesoftheWorld
Posts: 1,707

Here are some insights:


"Do What Thou Wilt" Shall be the Whole of the Law


Love is the Law; Love under Will


The only Sin is Restriction

What Fatal Flowers of Darkness Bloom from Seeds of Light!
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5 years ago  ::  Sep 02, 2009 - 11:24AM #7
EyesoftheWorld
Posts: 1,707

Also, you should avoid doing things that your Will might want to do but which would interfere, preclude or arrest someone else's free will. Which I took to mean, in other words, to not go around victimizing people. That's bad news.

What Fatal Flowers of Darkness Bloom from Seeds of Light!
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5 years ago  ::  Sep 02, 2009 - 11:25AM #8
EyesoftheWorld
Posts: 1,707

Sep 1, 2009 -- 9:17PM, Hexpainter wrote:


Sep 1, 2009 -- 1:13PM, EyesoftheWorld wrote:


Here are some insights:


"Do What Thou Wilt" Shall be the Whole of the Law


Love is the Law; Love under Will


The only Sin is Restriction




 


"Do What Thou Will"


Shall be the Whole of the Law.


 


But


"That Which is Done in Spirit is Above the Law".




I confess I'm ignorant of this point... from where did you learn it, Hexy?

What Fatal Flowers of Darkness Bloom from Seeds of Light!
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5 years ago  ::  Sep 02, 2009 - 8:34PM #9
EyesoftheWorld
Posts: 1,707

Ah, I thought I'd read just about all Crowley's written so I'm relieved in a way.


That phrase reminds me of St. Augustine's "Love God and do what thou wilt", of which I'm sure Crowley was aware.


In a pantheistic sense of 'god', the phrase above and the phrase you've shared make perfect sense, you know?


Thanks, Hexy

What Fatal Flowers of Darkness Bloom from Seeds of Light!
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5 years ago  ::  Sep 03, 2009 - 7:15PM #10
EyesoftheWorld
Posts: 1,707

Verily; he's the most compelling comparative religious author I've read.

What Fatal Flowers of Darkness Bloom from Seeds of Light!
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